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Interviews: A Day in the Life of An Agency Intern Part One

By Carolyn Koh on October 23, 2008

A Day in the Life of An Agency Intern Part One

The initiative (Gamers In Real Life) seeks to positively impact the way females are depicted in video games and create and influence content to be appealing to women and provides a scholarship designed to educate and recruit more women into the video game industry. Teaming up with the Art Institutes, SoE selected a recipient to receive a paid internship at one of the SOE studios, plus $10,000 toward tuition at The Art Institutes. Julia Brasil, a second year student at the Art Institutes California in San Francisco was announced as the first winner of this scholarship this summer. As the fall term came around, Julia was asked at which studio she wanted to do her internship. She chose the Seattle Studio in order to work on The Agency.

“We feel honored that Julia chose to intern at The Agency,” said Taina Rodriguez, Publicist for SoE’s Seattle Studio. “She could have chosen to work in any of our studios but she chose ours.”

When she was offered the different studios she could intern at, Julia took one look at The Agency and said to herself, “Ooh… I wanna play this!”

Julia is a student in the Game Art and Design program and a gamer. In a panel at the recent FanFaire, she revealed that she’s a Team Fortress2 player and used to play Diablo as well. Little wonder The Agency grabbed her attention.

So on October 6th, she began the internship in the art team, under the supervision of Producer, Sherry Floyd and after a quick – very quick orientation, she was put to work on the environment team, working on Metamorpha’s, a nightclub in Prague.

“I’m working from the concept art and making a blueprint for the level, and creating a 3D environment,” said Julia. “It’s really more design than doing art, which is very exciting for me as that’s what I really want to do.”

Within the environment, Julia is doing placement of objects and 3D modeling. Creating a space within given parameters and making sure that it will hold the number of characters specified and that the characters will fit and be able to move around in it.

“Basically, I create a model and run through it with a character or characters and test it. I’m working closely with Sherry and learning a lot from everyone I work with.”

Most students at the Art Institute do their internship in the final year, but Julia’s skills and ability won her a scholarship as well as the chance to intern early, an opportunity that puts all her learning to the test.

“Everything I’ve learned so far at the Art Institute applies,” said Julia, understanding now the little nit-picky things that instructors stressed during courses really has real life implications, and that they weren’t simply aspects of coursework that instructors could take marks off for. I asked for an example.

“Well, I really understand what they mean when they say a model needs to be clean now,” said Julia. It needs to fit into and work in an engine. “Stray pixels and looks fine doesn’t cut it when there’s a game engine involved.”

“So, did you break anything in your first week?” I asked.

“No, luckily, no” Julia laughed. “I am amazed at what they’ve had me do and I’m amazed at what I’ve accomplished. It’s been a fantastic learning process. My work is looked at every day and I’m given pointers, shown what’s wrong, and also being shown how to fix it, or told where to find the information to learn to fix it.”

“And has the newbie been hazed?” I asked jokingly.

“I’ve been air-gunned! (shot with a nerf gun),” said Julia, “No, really. The people here have been great in welcoming me into the team. This is truly a fantastic opportunity for me. It’s a fantastic learning experience.”

Stay tuned as we check in with Julia and The Agency every two weeks through this ten week internship and get sneak peeks into what is developing in the Seattle Studios of SoE. To accompany this article, we’ve been given a few screenshots of the process as she moves the space she creates from Maya to the Unreal Engine that’s used in The Agency. We will see more as she progresses through the design of Metamorpha’s.

Carolyn Koh / Carolyn has been writing for since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.